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    A Ukrainian military convoy is pictured through a barbed wire fence at a military base in the town of Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine

    Heavy Artillery Withdrawal in Donbas Should Be Completed Within Two Weeks

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    Minsk Summit on Ukraine: Last Exit Before War? (83)
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    According to the Minsk deal, all foreign armed groups, military equipment and mercenaries should leave Ukraine under the OSCE control. Moreover, the document calls for disarming all illegal groups in Ukraine.

    MINSK (Sputnik) – Heavy artillery withdrawal in Donbas is set to start soon and will be completed within 14 days, the Minsk document reads.

    According to the deal, all foreign armed groups, military equipment and mercenaries should leave Ukraine under the OSCE control.

    Moreover, the Minsk document calls for disarming all illegal groups in Ukraine.

    One of the conditions for Kiev to regain control over the border with Russia is the implementation of constitutional reforms in Ukraine, according to a Minsk declaration, which was agreed upon during the so-called Normandy format meeting on Thursday. Decentralization issue should be reconsidered as well.

    “The implementation of the constitutional reform in Ukraine with the new constitution to come into effect by the end of 2015, presupposing the decentralization of power as the key element [taking into account features of some areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions agreed on with the representatives of these regions], as well as the approval of the permanent legislation about the special statuses of some areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” the declaration says.

    The Minsk deal calls for legislation on the special status of the southeastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, must pass a bill on the special status of Donbas within 30 days, the document reads.

    Germany and France will give technical support to renew the banking system that was disrupted by violence in eastern Ukraine, according to the Minsk agreement agreed upon by the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia on Thursday.

    "Germany and France will provide technical support to renew the segment of the banking system that was disrupted in the regions of the conflict, possibly by creating an international mechanism to provide social payments," according to the Minsk document accepted by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russia.

    Kiev will renew the banking systems in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, according to the document.

    "Ukraine will renew the management of the segment of its banking system in the regions affected by the conflict, and it is possible an international mechanism will be created for money transfers," the document reads.

    "All-for-all" prisoner exchange between Kiev and eastern Ukrainian forces should take place within five days following troops' pull back.

    "Provide for the freedom and exchange of all prisoners and illegally detained individuals on the principle of ‘all-for-all.’ This process must be completed within at least five days after troops have been pulled back," the document reads.

    The document calls for amnesty for the people related to the events in several districts of Donetsk and Luhansk.

    Participants of the Normandy format meeting — Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – have been holding talks for more than 13 hours in the Belarusian capital of Minsk to hammer out a deal on the Ukrainian crisis.

    Members of the Contact Group, comprising envoys from Kiev, Moscow, the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics, as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have also been negotiating in Minsk since Tuesday.

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    Minsk Summit on Ukraine: Last Exit Before War? (83)

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    France, Minsk agreement, OSCE, Angela Merkel, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, Lugansk, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Donetsk
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